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"Not even the soldiers' fury, raised in war,
The rage of tyrants when defiance stings 'em!
The pride of priests, so bloodless when in power,
Are half so dreadful as a woman's vengeance."

IT is generally agreed that a thing to be avoided by man at any cost is a woman's hatred; although, according to Walter Savage Landor, "No friendship is so cordial or so sweet as that of a girl for a girl; no hatred so intense or immovable as that of woman for woman." And the dislike of one woman for another is mostly attributed to jealousy; for, according to a common French proverb, "It is the men who cause the women to dislike each other."

But, as it has been observed, "The anger of a woman is the greatest evil with which one can threaten enemies, especially as proverbial experience tells us that "A woman is more constant in hate than in love" a maxim which has additional warning when it is remembered that "No woman is too silly not to have a genius for spite"--added to which may be quoted this piece of German proverb lore: "A woman's vengeance knows no bounds;" and, again: "A woman, when inflamed by love or hatred, will do anything." To the same effect is the French saying: "Women's counsels are ever cruel," the warning being added that "you should believe only one word in forty that a woman speaks," a fact which is said to be specially true when she is anxious to emphasise her expressions of hatred against her unfortunate victim.

And we are reminded that the hate of a woman is all the more to be dreaded, for even when at her best we are told that "Women like good wine are a secret poison," and that "whereas women's love is dangerous, their hate is fatal."

This view, too, is the same everywhere, and a well-known Hindustani maxim tells us that "the rage of a woman, a player, and a bull is something dreadful" but it consoles us by adding that "A woman's threats and goblin's stones break no bones."

And, as in love, so in hate, a woman is mentally proverbially blind, seeing nothing but what is thoroughly bad in the object of her hatred; and hence the popular proverb, of which there are many versions: "Hatred is blind as well as love."

Next: Chapter X: Love Tests